Sixteen-year old Donel Mangena, who was raised in Zimbabwe, has become the talk of fans of The Voice UK.
The teen wowed UK and South African viewers and scored a standing ovation after his jaw-dropping rendition of Major Lazer and Justin Bieber’s Cold Water in the blind audition round at the start of the series, singing parts of the song in his native isiNdebele.
Mangena, who now lives in Southampton, barely made it through half his song before all four coaches pressed their buzzers and turned their chairs for the young singer. Mangena’s 77-year-old grandmother Nita, who looked after him in Bulawayo in his younger years, could barely contain her excitement and ran onto the stage, stealing the show with her own dance moves.
The four coaches – Sir Tom Jones, will.i.am, Jennifer Hudson and Olly Murs, then proceeded to battle over who gets to train the young talent, with will.i.am finally managing to persuade the teen to join his team after both he and Hudson compared their careers and awards in order to impress.
Viewers flocked to Twitter to hail Mangena, praising him for his electrifying blind audition with one fan claiming: “Here is the winner of The Voice UK 2018. Everyone can go home now. It’s all over.”
And it seems bookies are willing to get behind the singer too, offering solid odds for Mangena to scoop a record deal.
“Donel stole the show on the return of The Voice and has attracted a flurry of bets to win the series where he is sure to be in the mix come the live shows,” said a leading UK bookmaker.
Donel Mangena told The Voice UK producers that his dad is his inspiration and that the father-and-son duo have a studio at their house. Mangena’s father is Bulawayo-born musician and composer Nkosana Mangena who is also known as Mangesto.
A new episode of The Voice UK premieres every Sunday on ITV Choice (DStv 123) at 18:00 with catch-up opportunities the next day at 20:00 as well as at 16:00 on Sundays before the new show.
The show broadcasts in South Africa within 24-hours of the UK making it as up-to-date and relevant as possible.